The Supreme Court confirmation hearings continue for Solicitor General Elena Kagan. She’ll start her second day of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9:00 a.m. ET.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is back at the top of the Capitol Hill agenda Wednesday. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Michael Bromwich, newly appointed director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, testify before the House Natural Resources Committee on their efforts to reform the offshore oil and gas leasing business. Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator for the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund, talks to the House Small Business Committee at 10:00 a.m. ET about what the $20 billion escrow fund established by BP to deal with cleaning up the spill will do for local companies hit hard by the environmental and economic disaster. We expect emotional testimony from two widows whose husbands died on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to dominate a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the legal liabilities and responsibilities surrounding the 71 day long tragedy.
President Obama’s Debt Commission holds a meeting to discuss medium- and long-term fiscal challenges at 9:30 a.m. ET. The commission is expected to hear testimony from close to 100 experts on ways to curb the nation’s ever expanding budget deficit.
The Senate will take up a measure to extend unemployment benefits through November. The bill would add roughly $34 billion to the deficit over the next ten years. A similar measure failed to pass in the House on Tuesday. Another economic stimulus measure, the extension of the first time homebuyer’s credit, will also be on the floor. The legislation, which provides an $8,000 credit for new homeowners who close before October 1, will be part of a larger small business initiative and is fully paid-for.
At 12:00 p.m. ET, the Senate is expected to vote to confirm Gen. David Petraeus to be the nation’s top general in Afghanistan.
On a less positive note for the armed forces, the Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Lt. Gen. Steven Whitcomb, Army Inspector General, testify before the House Armed Services Committee about new policies and procedures put in place at Arlington National Cemetery after high-profile media reports of misidentified graves and a dysfunctional management structure at the final resting place for our nation’s bravest.
It’s a full day on Capitol Hill, so be sure to stay with Fox News for all the latest.